15 JUNE 1996, Page 27

The mood he's in

HAVING GOT this far, I found myself tun- ing in to Will Hutton's television series, False Economy. In it, he develops the ideas which are said to be such an influence on Labour's economic thought. It struck me that they were either irrelevant to the busi- ness of managing change or designed to make it more difficult. Mr Hutton believes in regulation and protection, most of all at work — we are too much at risk, so he says. He thinks that the free-market approach has gone too far, and jibs at the conse- quences of living in an open economy. He can even feel nostalgia for the good old days of the nationalised industries, when we were all equal on the waiting-lists. Indeed, for someone who thinks of himself as a radi- cal reformer, he is notably averse to change. It shouldn't have been allowed and the gov- ernment ought to do something about it.